Favorite shots from 2015

 

Below are a few of the most memorable photos I’ve taken over the past 365 days. From capturing the resiliency of the human spirit at my job at Penn Rehab, experiencing childhood through my nieces eyes, enjoying year two as a crazy cat lady,crossing off items off my to-do list and watching two of my best friends walk down the aisle- it’s been a year for the books- photo books that is!

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A Year at Penn Rehab

11139367_1061647397198175_1431669535885815449_nLast Tuesday marked my one year anniversary as the Marketing and Communications Specialist at Penn Rehab, also known as Good Shepherd Penn Partners. The organization of the therapy provider for Penn Medicine, including acute physical and occupational therapy in all of the Penn Medicine hospitals (Pennsylvania Hospital, The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center), in-patient and Long Term Acute Care on 1800 Lombard Street in Philadelphia, and outpatient services across the region (known as Penn Therapy & Fitness).

11043011_1019303038099278_386451778405980983_nI clearly remember stumbling across the posting on a Sunday afternoon at the coffee shop. I was at the point where my life was finally coming together again and my heart was missing the work in healthcare. The food banking industry was rewarding, and Philabundance was an amazing experience, but it did not fuel me the way my work at Gift of Life Donor Program and Gift of Life Family House did. Being in physical rehabilitation was a chance to be present in capturing the heart of an aspect of healthcare without such a life or death weight, like organ donation. However to my surprise there are many pre-transplant and post transplant patients that receive physical therapy with us!

The day after emailing my information,the recruiter reached out to start the interview process. Two weeks later I was hired, and four weeks later I began my adventure. I accepted the offer in the parking lot of Ikea, and spent an hour afterwards wandering around the store in disbelief. Not only was it a generous salary increase, but came with my own door. To someone who spent the past 3 years in bullpen on top of coworkers for 8 plus hours, this was a luxury. Similar to the moment when little orphan Annie walked into Daddy Warbucks’s mansion (dramatic but you get the point).

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A 3 Year Career of Story Telling

I spent this afternoon looking at photos of people that I’ve covered over the years through video, photography and writing.  Having started my career at Gift of Life Donor Program, I had the fortune of honing my craft of interviewing individuals who have experienced life altering experiences. At Philabundance, I was able to explore the world of poverty and work each day to get the word out that there is no one face of hunger. At Good Shepherd Penn Parters, I am able to cover the inspirational stories of patients working to regain their mobility, their caregivers who support them, and the therapists that work tirelessly all for their patient. Since graduating college in 2011, I am lucky to have continuously help share incredible stories told by amazing people! Love non-profit life! When I wanted to be a writer growing up, I never knew my life would take this turn but it is so fulfilling and so inspiring! Take a look at some of the amazing people I’ve profiled over the years!

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101 Things That Happened in the Last 365 Days

Facebook now has a new app that will create a short video clip about the highlights of 2014. To be frank, 2014 can kick rocks. Most of the year was spent dealing with stress, unhappiness and grief. But somewhere in the middle of the emotional roller coaster of the year, I managed to do a whole bunch of cool things. 2014 can only be summed in one cliche, corny phrase- Life Goes On. 

Here’s a 101 memorable things that I did this year. Thank you for reading my ramblings, commenting on my essays, and/or being in my life this year.  I’m still wrapping my mind over some of the shit that went down over the past 365 days, so I won’t even try to guess what 2015 will hold. 

101 Things That Happened in the Last 365 Days

 Participated in a vegan chicken wing eating contest- This was a disaster, no one warned me that seitan expands once it’s wet. But it benefited Philly Roller Girls, so it was for a good cause!

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Participated in a cupcake eating contest.It was my first large amount of sugar after clean eating for 40 days, let’s just say that night I wanted to die

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Went on an upside roller coaster- I actually tried frantically to get off the Batman Coaster but the attendant didn’t hear me so I was stuck going through with it

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Went to Six Flags- We meant to go to Belmont Beach, but the signs for the safari seemed more exciting

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Had an article go viral- I was annoyed about how much online dating sucked, and wrote an article about it one night after work. Apparently people like that kind of thing.

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Got published on Bustle

Got published on Literally Darling

Found out I was a social introvert

Took photos on Citizen Bank Park’s field before a Phillies Game 

Missed a plane transfer

Had my article and face appear on Yahoo.com

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Flew to California

Put my feet in the Pacific Ocean

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Went in a hot tub under the stars at night in California

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Had my face appear on a HuffPo email 

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Snapshots of 2014- Part II

I take a lot of photos. And I mean thousands, each year. Before getting a point and shoot in 2004, I always had a disposable camera around. Now with cell phones, and my DSLR, my photo obsession as grown even more. Here are a few of my favorite personal shots from 2014. Even though it was a tough year, there were many memorable moments!

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Snapshots of 2014- Part I

These are a few of my favorite photos I took this year, mainly through my work at Philabundance!

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You Never Think It Could Happen to Your Family

For over a year and a half, I had the opportunity to work as the Digital Media Coordinator for Philabundance. Philabundance is the Delaware Valley’s region’s largest food bank, providing food to over 75,000 people each week. During my time there, I learned how prevalent hunger was in my own neighborhood. While working on Philabundance’s 30th anniversary event earlier this year, I had the opportunity to showcase the impact Philabundance has on the Delaware Valley region. With the help of the amazing videographer Dave Case, I produced this short video to act as a case of support in why community members needed to help Philabundance provide services to neighbors in need. It was an incredible process to learn the stories of community members who found themselves in situations that they never dreamed of encountering. As well as the inspirational stories of volunteers who dedicate their time to make sure others have food on their tables.

Please take 3 minutes and watch how a financial contribution can make a difference in the life of someone going through a tough time. Then, consider making a donation to Philabundance or Feeding America to make the holiday season a bit brighter.  $1 can provide 2 meals to someone that is unsure if they’ll have enough money to eat dinner this week after they pay their bills.

 

Back to Basics

 

For the first time since early in my college career, I’m making a commitment to growing in my own voice. Somehow between earning a college degree, writing for publications, and entering the full-time workforce, my ability and craving to pen personal narratives fizzled.

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The Ultimate Miracle on 34th Street Will Live On

As seen on Huffington Post, published on 05/06/2014

*Disclaimer:For those of you who responded to kindly to my initial article “Miracle on 34th Street’ chronicling Weston Keeton’s transplant surgery in December 2013, thank you from the bottom of my heart. The article opened many people to the topic of organ donation.

IMG_4844How did a 31 year-old Tennessee woman, who is mother of seven children — one critically ill –become best friends with a single, 24 year-old from Philadelphia? Two years later, I’m still trying to sort that out myself. I honestly believe fate introduced me to Julie. We were two people going their own personal battles, and trying to find some normalcy in life.

While working as a multimedia liaison at an organ procurement center, in spring 2012, I filmed a lot of sad stories. People sat down in front of my camera and shared their struggles during their wait for an organ transplant. My heart broke for many of these families, but when it came time to film the saddest story of them all, I ended the interview laughing.

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